KAWS - 20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale London Wednesday, February 12, 2020 | Phillips

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  • Video

    KAWS, 'ON TIME', Lot 41

    20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale, 13 February

  • Provenance

    Zidoun-Bossuyt Gallery, Luxembourg
    Acquired from the above by the present owner

  • Exhibited

    Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Focus: KAWS, 11 December - 19 February 2012

  • Literature

    Kent Boyer, 'Review of KAWS at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth', Dallas Art News, 19 January 2012, online

  • Catalogue Essay

    With its distinct graphic look, ON TIME, 2011, forms part of KAWS’ body of black paintings. Though still intent on the representation of cartoon imagery and mass-culture symbols, this body of work is more enigmatic than the artist’s more tonally ebullient canvases. Indeed, ON TIME asks the viewer to squint their eyes to decipher the image beneath, leaving at the surface a harmonious composition of subtle gradations. Producing such an effect necessitates an extremely tight and well-executed technique, which KAWS has achieved by employing matte, glossy blacks and a range of greys. The tone-on-tone quality is playful in a way that slightly differs from the artist’s explosively colourful compositions; here, the forms are rendered alive through the viewer’s sustained inspection, making the work ingeniously participative.

  • Artist Biography


    American • 1974

    To understand the work of KAWS is to understand his roots in the skateboard and graffiti crews of New York City. Brian Donnelly chose KAWS as his moniker to tag city streets beginning in the 1990s, and quickly became a celebrated standout in the scene. Having swapped spray paint for explorations in fine art spanning sculpture, painting and collage, KAWS has maintained a fascination with classic cartoons, including Garfield, SpongeBob SquarePants and The Simpsons, and reconfigured familiar subjects into a world of fantasy. 

    Perhaps he is most known for his larger-than-life fiberglass sculptures that supplant the body of Mickey Mouse onto KAWS' own imagined creatures, often with 'x'-ed out eyes or ultra-animated features. However, KAWS also works frequently in neon and vivid paint, adding animation and depth to contemporary paintings filled with approachable imagination. There is mass appeal to KAWS, who exhibits globally and most frequently in Asia, Europe and the United States.  

    View More Works

Property of an Important European Collector



each part signed, consecutively numbered and dated 'KAWS..11 1/2 2/2' on the reverse
acrylic on canvas, in 2 parts
overall 152.4 x 122.4 cm (60 x 48 1/4 in.)
Painted in 2011.

£300,000 - 400,000 

Contact Specialist

Olivia Thornton
Head of 20th Century & Contemporary Art, Europe
+44 20 7318 4099
[email protected]


Rosanna Widén
Senior Specialist, Head of Evening Sale
+44 20 7318 4060
[email protected]

20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale

London Auction 13 February 2020